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High Rock Canyon
again, click here if you're in a hurry for pictures

Memorial Day weekend, 2014. I had been poking around Google Earth looking for something roughly 'on the way' to or from our main destination for the weekend. While the Black Rock Desert High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area has been around for 15 years or so, I didn't discover it until earlier this spring. The region is remote. It is miles and miles of dirt roads just to approach the area.

  • Virginia City - Leading into our back-roads adventure we stopped in Virginia to capture a few images of a bustling tourist trap in action.
  • Gerlach to Surprise Valley - We avoided the well traveled highways by taking 34 from Gerlach to its intersection with 8A, which turns into California 299. This included several stops for wildflowers, a wild horse, and a small petrified forest.
  • 34 to High Rock Lake - An unmarked BLM road crosses private land, providing access to the unimproved 4WD trail that serves as the boundary line between Little High Rock Canyon Wilderness on the south, and High Rock Canyon Wilderness to the north. This road crests at well over 6,000 feet with beautiful vistas to the north and east. Oh, and never mind the sign that says the road 'dead-ends in 14 miles.' 14 miles from that sign the road drops down into the valley and joins another main road running mostly north and south between 34 and High Rock Lake.
  • Fly Canyon - The road from High Rock Lake to Soldier Meadow passes through Fly Canyon. An important feature of Fly Canyon are the 'potholes' that were formed by the swirling action of the stream.
  • High Rock Canyon - One of the main features of the Conservation Area - The Applegate trail traverses the canyon. Tens of thousands of wagons passed through the narrow confines of High Rock Canyon between 1846 and the 1870s.
  • Return Home - Cedarville to the Oregon border.

Applegate Trail in High Rock Canyon in Nevada
Black Rock Desert High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trail National Conservation Area route

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Route from Cedarville to Bend

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China Hat road from Ft Rock to Bend
Things to look for:
  • Ft Rock (goes by on the left at the very beginning)
  • Oncoming cars on dirt road (4)
  • Guy on a bicycle
  • Jeep at intersection trying to figure out which way to go
  • China Hat (visible very early on at a distance, gets bigger the closer you get)
  • Three sisters (very brief)

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